Testing - Integration Tests - Introduction

Ceph has two types of tests: make check tests and integration tests. When a test requires multiple machines, root access, or lasts for a long time (for example, to simulate a realistic Ceph workload), it is deemed to be an integration test. Integration tests are organized into “suites”, which are defined in the ceph/qa sub-directory and run with the teuthology-suite command.

The teuthology-suite command is part of the teuthology framework. In the sections that follow we attempt to provide a detailed introduction to that framework from the perspective of a beginning Ceph developer.

Teuthology consumes packages

It may take some time to understand the significance of this fact, but it is very significant. It means that automated tests can be conducted on multiple platforms using the same packages (RPM, DEB) that can be installed on any machine running those platforms.

Teuthology has a list of platforms that it supports (as of September 2020 the list consisted of “RHEL/CentOS 8” and “Ubuntu 18.04”). It expects to be provided pre-built Ceph packages for these platforms. Teuthology deploys these platforms on machines (bare-metal or cloud-provisioned), installs the packages on them, and deploys Ceph clusters on them - all as called for by the test.

The Nightlies

A number of integration tests are run on a regular basis in the Sepia lab against the official Ceph repositories (on the master development branch and the stable branches). Traditionally, these tests are called “the nightlies” because the Ceph core developers used to live and work in the same time zone and from their perspective the tests were run overnight.

The results of nightly test runs are published at http://pulpito.ceph.com/ under the user teuthology. The developer nick appears in URL of the the test results and in the first column of the Pulpito dashboard. The results are also reported on the ceph-qa mailing list.

Testing Priority

In brief: in the teuthology-suite command option -p <N>, set the value of <N> to a number lower than 1000. An explanation of why follows.

The teuthology-suite command includes an option -p <N>. This option specifies the priority of the jobs submitted to the queue. The lower the value of N, the higher the priority.

The default value of N is 1000. This is the same priority value given to the nightly tests (the nightlies). Often, the volume of testing done during the nightly tests is so great that the full number of nightly tests do not get run during the time allotted for their run.

Set the value of N lower than 1000, or your tests will not have priority over the nightly tests. This means that they might never run.

Select your job’s priority (the value of N) in accordance with the following guidelines:



N < 10

Use this if the sky is falling and some group of tests must be run ASAP.

10 <= N < 50

Use this if your tests are urgent and blocking other important development.

50 <= N < 75

Use this if you are testing a particular feature/fix and running fewer than about 25 jobs. This range is also used for urgent release testing.

75 <= N < 100

Tech Leads regularly schedule integration tests with this priority to verify pull requests against master.

100 <= N < 150

This priority is used for QE validation of point releases.

150 <= N < 200

Use this priority for 100 jobs or fewer that test a particular feature or fix. Results are available in about 24 hours.

200 <= N < 1000

Use this priority for large test runs. Results are available in about a week.

To see how many jobs the teuthology-suite command will trigger, use the --dry-run flag. If you are happy with the number of jobs returned by the dry run, issue the teuthology-suite command again without --dry-run and with -p and an appropriate number as an argument.

To skip the priority check, use --force-priority. Be considerate of the needs of other developers to run tests, and use --force-priority only in emergencies.

Suites Inventory

The suites directory of the ceph/qa sub-directory contains all the integration tests for all the Ceph components.





install a Ceph cluster with ceph-deploy (ceph-deploy man page)


get a machine, do nothing and return success (commonly used to verify that the integration testing infrastructure works as expected)


test CephFS mounted using kernel and FUSE clients, also with multiple MDSs.


test the RBD kernel module


verify the Ceph cluster behaves when machines are powered off and on again


run Ceph clusters including OSDs and MONs, under various conditions of stress


run RBD tests using actual Ceph clusters, with and without qemu


run RGW tests using actual Ceph clusters


run tests that exercise the Ceph API with an actual Ceph cluster


verify that teuthology can run integration tests, with and without OpenStack


for various versions of Ceph, verify that upgrades can happen without disrupting an ongoing workload (Upgrade Testing)


teuthology-describe was added to the teuthology framework to facilitate documentation and better understanding of integration tests.

Tests can be documented by embedding meta: annotations in the yaml files used to define the tests. The results can be seen in the teuthology-desribe usecases

Since this is a new feature, many yaml files have yet to be annotated. Developers are encouraged to improve the coverage and the quality of the documentation.

How to run integration tests

Typically, the Sepia lab is used to run integration tests. But as a new Ceph developer, you will probably not have access to the Sepia lab. You might however be able to run some integration tests in an environment separate from the Sepia lab . Ask members from the relevant team how to do this.

One way to run your own integration tests is to set up a teuthology cluster on bare metal. Setting up a teuthology cluster on bare metal is a complex task. Here are some notes to get you started if you decide that you are interested in undertaking the complex task of setting up a teuthology cluster on bare metal.

Running integration tests on your code contributions and publishing the results allows reviewers to verify that changes to the code base do not cause regressions, and allows reviewers to analyze test failures when they occur.

Every teuthology cluster, whether bare-metal or cloud-provisioned, has a so-called “teuthology machine” from which tests suites are triggered using the teuthology-suite command.

A detailed and up-to-date description of each teuthology-suite option is available by running the following command on the teuthology machine:

teuthology-suite --help

How integration tests are defined

Integration tests are defined by yaml files found in the suites subdirectory of the ceph/qa sub-directory and implemented by python code found in the tasks subdirectory. Some tests (“standalone tests”) are defined in a single yaml file, while other tests are defined by a directory tree containing yaml files that are combined, at runtime, into a larger yaml file.

Reading a standalone test

Let us first examine a standalone test, or “singleton”.

Here is a commented example using the integration test rados/singleton/all/admin-socket.yaml

- - mon.a
  - osd.0
  - osd.1
- install:
- ceph:
- admin_socket:
      config show:
      config set filestore_dump_file /tmp/foo:
      perf dump:
      perf schema:

The roles array determines the composition of the cluster (how many MONs, OSDs, etc.) on which this test is designed to run, as well as how these roles will be distributed over the machines in the testing cluster. In this case, there is only one element in the top-level array: therefore, only one machine is allocated to the test. The nested array declares that this machine shall run a MON with id a (that is the mon.a in the list of roles) and two OSDs (osd.0 and osd.1).

The body of the test is in the tasks array: each element is evaluated in order, causing the corresponding python file found in the tasks subdirectory of the teuthology repository or ceph/qa sub-directory to be run. “Running” in this case means calling the task() function defined in that file.

In this case, the install task comes first. It installs the Ceph packages on each machine (as defined by the roles array). A full description of the install task is found in the python file (search for “def task”).

The ceph task, which is documented here (again, search for “def task”), starts OSDs and MONs (and possibly MDSs as well) as required by the roles array. In this example, it will start one MON (mon.a) and two OSDs (osd.0 and osd.1), all on the same machine. Control moves to the next task when the Ceph cluster reaches HEALTH_OK state.

The next task is admin_socket (source code). The parameter of the admin_socket task (and any other task) is a structure which is interpreted as documented in the task. In this example the parameter is a set of commands to be sent to the admin socket of osd.0. The task verifies that each of them returns on success (i.e. exit code zero).

This test can be run with

teuthology-suite --machine-type smithi --suite rados/singleton/all/admin-socket.yaml fs/ext4.yaml

Test descriptions

Each test has a “test description”, which is similar to a directory path, but not the same. In the case of a standalone test, like the one in Reading a standalone test, the test description is identical to the relative path (starting from the suites/ directory of the ceph/qa sub-directory) of the yaml file defining the test.

Much more commonly, tests are defined not by a single yaml file, but by a directory tree of yaml files. At runtime, the tree is walked and all yaml files (facets) are combined into larger yaml “programs” that define the tests. A full listing of the yaml defining the test is included at the beginning of every test log.

In these cases, the description of each test consists of the subdirectory under suites/ containing the yaml facets, followed by an expression in curly braces ({}) consisting of a list of yaml facets in order of concatenation. For instance the test description:

ceph-deploy/basic/{distros/centos_7.0.yaml tasks/ceph-deploy.yaml}

signifies the concatenation of two files:

  • ceph-deploy/basic/distros/centos_7.0.yaml

  • ceph-deploy/basic/tasks/ceph-deploy.yaml

How tests are built from directories

As noted in the previous section, most tests are not defined in a single yaml file, but rather as a combination of files collected from a directory tree within the suites/ subdirectory of the ceph/qa sub-directory.

The set of all tests defined by a given subdirectory of suites/ is called an “integration test suite”, or a “teuthology suite”.

Combination of yaml facets is controlled by special files (% and +) that are placed within the directory tree and can be thought of as operators. The % file is the “convolution” operator and + signifies concatenation.

Convolution operator

The convolution operator, implemented as an empty file called %, tells teuthology to construct a test matrix from yaml facets found in subdirectories below the directory containing the operator.

For example, the ceph-deploy suite is defined by the suites/ceph-deploy/ tree, which consists of the files and subdirectories in the following structure

├── %
├── distros
│   ├── centos_latest.yaml
│   └── ubuntu_latest.yaml
└── tasks
    ├── ceph-admin-commands.yaml
    └── rbd_import_export.yaml

This is interpreted as a 2x1 matrix consisting of two tests:

  1. ceph-deploy/basic/{distros/centos_7.0.yaml tasks/ceph-deploy.yaml}

  2. ceph-deploy/basic/{distros/ubuntu_16.04.yaml tasks/ceph-deploy.yaml}

i.e. the concatenation of centos_7.0.yaml and ceph-deploy.yaml and the concatenation of ubuntu_16.04.yaml and ceph-deploy.yaml, respectively. In human terms, this means that the task found in ceph-deploy.yaml is intended to run on both CentOS 7.0 and Ubuntu 16.04.

Without the file percent, the ceph-deploy tree would be interpreted as three standalone tests:

  • ceph-deploy/basic/distros/centos_7.0.yaml

  • ceph-deploy/basic/distros/ubuntu_16.04.yaml

  • ceph-deploy/basic/tasks/ceph-deploy.yaml

(which would of course be wrong in this case).

Referring to the ceph/qa sub-directory, you will notice that the centos_7.0.yaml and ubuntu_16.04.yaml files in the suites/ceph-deploy/basic/distros/ directory are implemented as symlinks. By using symlinks instead of copying, a single file can appear in multiple suites. This eases the maintenance of the test framework as a whole.

All the tests generated from the suites/ceph-deploy/ directory tree (also known as the “ceph-deploy suite”) can be run with

teuthology-suite --machine-type smithi --suite ceph-deploy

An individual test from the ceph-deploy suite can be run by adding the --filter option

teuthology-suite \
   --machine-type smithi \
   --suite ceph-deploy/basic \
   --filter 'ceph-deploy/basic/{distros/ubuntu_16.04.yaml tasks/ceph-deploy.yaml}'


To run a standalone test like the one in Reading a standalone test, --suite alone is sufficient. If you want to run a single test from a suite that is defined as a directory tree, --suite must be combined with --filter. This is because the --suite option understands POSIX relative paths only.

Concatenation operator

For even greater flexibility in sharing yaml files between suites, the special file plus (+) can be used to concatenate files within a directory. For instance, consider the suites/rbd/thrash tree

├── %
├── clusters
│   ├── +
│   ├── fixed-2.yaml
│   └── openstack.yaml
└── workloads
    ├── rbd_api_tests_copy_on_read.yaml
    ├── rbd_api_tests.yaml
    └── rbd_fsx_rate_limit.yaml

This creates two tests:

  • rbd/thrash/{clusters/fixed-2.yaml clusters/openstack.yaml workloads/rbd_api_tests_copy_on_read.yaml}

  • rbd/thrash/{clusters/fixed-2.yaml clusters/openstack.yaml workloads/rbd_api_tests.yaml}

Because the clusters/ subdirectory contains the special file plus (+), all the other files in that subdirectory (fixed-2.yaml and openstack.yaml in this case) are concatenated together and treated as a single file. Without the special file plus, they would have been convolved with the files from the workloads directory to create a 2x2 matrix:

  • rbd/thrash/{clusters/openstack.yaml workloads/rbd_api_tests_copy_on_read.yaml}

  • rbd/thrash/{clusters/openstack.yaml workloads/rbd_api_tests.yaml}

  • rbd/thrash/{clusters/fixed-2.yaml workloads/rbd_api_tests_copy_on_read.yaml}

  • rbd/thrash/{clusters/fixed-2.yaml workloads/rbd_api_tests.yaml}

The clusters/fixed-2.yaml file is shared among many suites to define the following roles

- [mon.a, mon.c, osd.0, osd.1, osd.2, client.0]
- [mon.b, osd.3, osd.4, osd.5, client.1]

The rbd/thrash suite as defined above, consisting of two tests, can be run with

teuthology-suite --machine-type smithi --suite rbd/thrash

A single test from the rbd/thrash suite can be run by adding the --filter option

teuthology-suite \
   --machine-type smithi \
   --suite rbd/thrash \
   --filter 'rbd/thrash/{clusters/fixed-2.yaml clusters/openstack.yaml workloads/rbd_api_tests_copy_on_read.yaml}'

Upgrade Testing

Using the upgrade suite we are able to verify that upgrades from earlier releases can complete successfully without disrupting any ongoing workload. Each Release branch upgrade directory includes 2-x upgrade testing. Meaning, we are able to test the upgrade from 2 preceding releases to the current one. The upgrade sequence is done in parallel with other given workloads.

For instance, the upgrade test directory from the Quincy release branch is as follows:

├── octopus-x
└── pacific-x

It is possible to test upgrades from Octopus (2-x) or from Pacific (1-x) to Quincy (x). A simple upgrade test consists the following order:

├── 0-start.yaml
├── 1-tasks.yaml
├── upgrade-sequence.yaml
└── workload

After starting the cluster with the older release we begin running the given workload and the upgrade-sequnce in parallel.

- print: "**** done start parallel"
- parallel:
    - workload
    - upgrade-sequence
- print: "**** done end parallel"

While the workload directory consists regular yaml files just as in any other suite, the upgrade-sequnce is resposible for running the upgrade and awaitng its completion:

- print: "**** done start upgrade, wait"
    - ceph orch upgrade start --image quay.ceph.io/ceph-ci/ceph:$sha1
    - while ceph orch upgrade status | jq '.in_progress' | grep true ; do ceph orch ps ; ceph versions ; sleep 30 ; done\
- print: "**** done end upgrade, wait..."

It is also possible to upgrade in stages while running workloads in between those:

├── %
├── 0-cluster
├── 1-ceph-install
├── 2-partial-upgrade
├── 3-thrash
├── 4-workload
├── 5-finish-upgrade.yaml
├── 6-quincy.yaml
└── 8-final-workload

After starting a cluster we upgrade only 2/3 of the cluster (2-partial-upgrade). The next stage is running thrash tests and given workload tests. Later on, continuing to upgrade the rest of the cluster (5-finish-upgrade.yaml). The last stage is requiring the updated release (ceph require-osd-release quincy, ceph osd set-require-min-compat-client quincy) and running the final-workload.

Position Independent Linking

Under the qa/suites directory are .qa symbolic links in every directory. Each link is recursive by always linking to ../.qa/. The final terminating link is in the qa/ directory itself as qa/.qa -> .. This layout of symbolic links allows a suite to be easily copied or moved without breaking a number of symbolic links. For example:

qa/suites/fs/upgrade/nofs/centos_latest.yaml -> .qa/distros/supported/centos_latest.yaml

If we copy the nofs suite somewhere else, add a parent directory above nofs, or move the centos_latest.yaml fragment into a sub-directory, the link will not break. Compare to:

qa/suites/fs/upgrade/nofs/centos_latest.yaml -> ../../../../distros/supported/centos_latest.yaml

If the link is moved, it is very likely it will break because the number of parent directories to reach the distros directory may change.

When adding new directories or suites, it is recommended to also remember adding .qa symbolic links. A trivial find command may do this for you:

find qa/suites/ -type d -execdir ln -sfT ../.qa/ {}/.qa \;

Filtering tests by their description

When a few jobs fail and need to be run again, the --filter option can be used to select tests with a matching description. For instance, if the rados suite fails the all/peer.yaml test, the following will only run the tests that contain this file

teuthology-suite --machine-type smithi --suite rados --filter all/peer.yaml

The --filter-out option does the opposite (it matches tests that do not contain a given string), and can be combined with the --filter option.

Both --filter and --filter-out take a comma-separated list of strings (which means the comma character is implicitly forbidden in filenames found in the ceph/qa sub-directory). For instance

teuthology-suite --machine-type smithi --suite rados --filter all/peer.yaml,all/rest-api.yaml

will run tests that contain either all/peer.yaml or all/rest-api.yaml

Each string is looked up anywhere in the test description and has to be an exact match: they are not regular expressions.

Reducing the number of tests

The rados suite generates tens or even hundreds of thousands of tests out of a few hundred files. This happens because teuthology constructs test matrices from subdirectories wherever it encounters a file named %. For instance, all tests in the rados/basic suite run with different messenger types: simple, async and random, because they are combined (via the special file %) with the msgr directory

All integration tests are required to be run before a Ceph release is published. When merely verifying whether a contribution can be merged without risking a trivial regression, it is enough to run a subset. The --subset option can be used to reduce the number of tests that are triggered. For instance

teuthology-suite --machine-type smithi --suite rados --subset 0/4000

will run as few tests as possible. The tradeoff in this case is that not all combinations of test variations will together, but no matter how small a ratio is provided in the --subset, teuthology will still ensure that all files in the suite are in at least one test. Understanding the actual logic that drives this requires reading the teuthology source code.

The --limit option only runs the first N tests in the suite: this is rarely useful, however, because there is no way to control which test will be first.